The Real Deal New York

AG probing Abyssinian’s finances

City cut off $3.1 million in contracts to the affordable developer in September

November 18, 2015 10:12AM

Calvin Butts Eric Schneiderman

From left: Calvin Butts and Eric Schneiderman

It just seems to keep getting worse for Rev. Calvin Butts and his Abyssinian Development Corp., Harlem’s largest provider and manager of affordable housing.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating the company’s finances, requesting information about the firm – the development arm of Butts’ Abyssinian Baptist Church – from multiple city agencies.The request submitted to the Mayor’s Office of Contract Service was received last month, the New York Daily News reported.

Abyssinian manages more than 1,500 affordable housing units, and operates a variety of education and social service organizations.

In September, the city abruptly pulled $3.1 million in contracts from the developer, citing its failure to file annual tax forms and audits over the past three years.

Abyssinian recently sold a Pathmark supermarket location at 142-96 East 125 Street in Harlem to Extell Development for $39 million, in a move that prompted a lawsuit against Butts’ firm by its former partner, the nonprofit East Harlem Triangle. Extell has plans for luxury condos on the site, the Daily News reported. [NYDN]Ariel Stulberg